American Politics 1102 Midterm
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. What would you like to do?
Do Americans care about politics?
- they have some interest, but not as much as the democratic ideal
- large percentages are uninformed about major political issues
What do americans hold in common?
- proud of an emotionally attached to country
- positive image of countrys political, social, and economical institutions
- believe in the equality of all people
- proudest of the countrys committment to freedom
- Have a strong commitment to govt rule by consent of the majority
- committed to capitalism and free enterprise as idealized in the values of hard work, private property, economic competition, and profit
Where do americans differ?
- they lean away from equality of result (reducing material inequalities)
- ---> some dont accept racial or sexual equality
- divided on their commitment to freedom of expression
- they dissagree on the limits that should be placed on right to vote and if minorities should be president
- divided over the concern about buisness practices and the degree to which buisnesses should be regulated
- Political Ideology
What about political ideaology do americans differ?
- they dont think about politics in ideologically coherent terms
- essentially centrist, but american public opinion is shifting to the right (conservative)
- not familiar with basic definition of liberalism vs conservativism or have wrong ideas of what they mean
- they respond to political issues on an individual bases and respond at the level to which they are addressed
What is political socialization?
- the process by which citizens internalize their own thinking, beliefs, feeling, ad evaluations about the political world
- important to stability and change in american politics
- a teaching or learning process
What are the processes of political socialization?
- social learning theory
- transfer theory
- cognitive development theory
What is the social learning theory?
learning through phsychological attachments or identifications
What is the transfer learning theory?
carrying over attitudes developed in a narrower setting
What is the cognitive deveolopment theory
learning dependent on the stage of an individuals mental development
What is manifest socialization?
- specific teaching of beliefs
- ex: parents say something to teach children
What is latent socialization
- subtle teaching through learning
- ex: children just copying what parents do
What are the agents of political socialization?
How is family an agent of socialization?
- they have first chance at political influence
- family influence on political attitudes is greatest when attitudes relate to topics regularly discussed
- political differences common between parents and children
How is school an agent of socialization?
- primary source of information on politics
- school promotes feelings about social and political involvement through relationships and activities
- the effect of school is gradual and subtle
- rules enforced by authoritive figure
How are peer groups an agent of socialization?
- peer groups: groups of people usually in equal social position, who interact w/ eachother
- social pressures on group members to behave can be strong
- Peer group pressures can have mixed results
Explain the development of one's political self
- a kids first political thought is a psychological attachment with america and sense of authority personified in the president and police
- after exposed to school, kids conceptions of politics become less personal, more institutional, more realistic, and less to just the president, etc
- in early adulthood, individuals establish a political identity and are strongly affected by major political and social events
- during adulthood, political socialization evolves with changing needs concerns and environment of individual
Explain diversity in socialization
- Subsocieties, mainly african americans, latinos, and asians, have exhibited distinctive political subcultures in america
- differences are fading but regions (ex: the south) have constituted distinctive political subcultures
- feminist movements changing how politically oriented women are
What are motives for political participation?
- people with a strong sense of political efficacy (impact they feel they have on the govt) and duty are more involved in politics
- people with a strong party identification more likely to participate
- social motivations often lead to political participation
- sense of duty- a motivating factor felt by some citizens to get involved
What are the forms of participation?
- campaigns and elections
- interest groups and political parties
- simply paying attention to politics
- contacting public officials through letters, personally, or petitions (most direct but less frequently done)
- protesting within or beyond the law
- the line between legitimate and illegitimate political protest can be hard to define
What are Differences in Participation?
- Six Categories of citizen participation (Verba and Nie)
- since different kinds of people participate differently, public officials get different impressions of public opinion depending on which forms of participation they pay attention to
What are the six categories of citizen participation?
inactives, voting specialists, parochial (narrow minded) participants, communalists (more interested in them than society as whole), campaigners, and complete activists
What is the impact of political participation?
- the relationship between opinion and policy is relatively loose because many ppl dont know what they want, there are many publics, and there are many restraints on policy
- the relationship is likely to be strong only when there is a clearly expressed body of opinion on an important issue
- more participation=stronger relationship
Explain the rationality of political participation
- according to the rational actor model, citizens weigh the cost against the benefits of participation
- the actual benefits of voting appear to be small, and therefore not rational
- parochial (narrow minded) participation, collective activities and political protest may be more effective and therefore more rational
what is civil disobedience?
a deliberate violation of the law as a means of asserting the illegitimacy of the law or calling attention to a higher moral principle
what is passive resistance?
protesters do not actively oppose government, but rather refuse to cooperate by doing nothing.
Internal vs external efficacy?
- internal efficacy- the belief that one can understand and therefore participate in politics
- external efficacy- the belief that one is effective when participating and the govt will respond to their needs
- a combination of the views attitudes and ideas held by individuals in a community
- dynamic public opinion: fluctuates considerably in response to events
- some held intensley
- some casual preferences
What is political ideology how do americans differ
americans often dont recognize terms liberalism and conservativism
defense of the political and econonmic status quo of the govt. does not wanna change it. it holds that established customs, laws and traditions should guide socitey
- ideology that regards to the individual a a rational being capable of overcoming obstacles towards a better world
- supports changes in the political and economic status quo
theory holding that the state gains its legitimacy from the consent of the govt and is formed to protect the rights of individuals to life, liberty and property
what does ideology do
spells out what is valued and what is not
transmission of values to the next generation
something that helps you adapt to a certain society (such as learning a language) when born
How is the social self made?
- starts at birth
- life long
- age appropriate
- subjective to change
- culturally relative
adapting to a new environment
What are the powers of the national govt?
- enumerated (largest, power to run elections)
pre emping the field
federal govt takes over
full faith and credit
the civil actions that occur in one state must be recognized in another
Constitutional reasons why the national govt has grown
- power to tax and spend for the general welfare (enumerated power)
- power to regulate interstate commerce
What are societal reasons why the govt has grown?
How can the fed govt take state power?
giving them money for things
What are political parties
- state oriented
- locally oriented
- constituency oriented (whos responsible for putting you where you are. usually family)
What is presidential power
not the power to command but the power to persuade
- the more education you have the more you are likely to participate in the political system
- the greater the sense that you can do somethin out ther
how are events agents of socialization
- many different types: individual (just to you) society ( to everyone) etc
- affect your views depending on your age
- ex: 9/11 changed views
Checks and balances
power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so you have to divide power
what are the branches of govt in checks and balances?
- they get involved with eachother
What is the legislative
- was supposed to be most important
what is executive
- became most important
- executive proposes, congress decides
Are americans pragnatic or philosophical?
- if theres a problem, do something about it
What are the 3 structures of govt?
- Unitary System
explain unitary system
- parliament decides who has political power and when
- govt has the ability to take political power away whenever they want
What would you like to do?
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